Burch: Where do we go from here?

Friday, August 9, 2013 at 3:14am
By Michael R. Burch

This will be my last article for The City Paper, so I’d like to express my thanks and gratitude to The City Paper for giving me the opportunity to write a weekly column, and to my editors William Williams and James Nix for catching my mistakes, which hopefully weren’t too many or too egregious. I would also like to thank my readers, because I know their time is valuable, and I really do appreciate the time they invested in my work. And I want to especially thank the readers who took the time to comment online: Loner, Captain Nemo, Govskeptic, Yogi, Dargent7, Budlight, Pswindle, Bfra, BenDover, Brrrk, and all the others ... thanks so very much!

Where do we go from here?

I hope to continue doing what I’ve been doing, which is trying to keep the spirit of the Confederacy from rising up like an impossible-to-kill Jason in a third-rate horror flick, intent on committing mindless mayhem and destroying lives. Quite seriously, that is how I see the current incarnation of the Grand Old Predators. A better analogy might be Jurassic Park, with raptor-like Republicans running around trying to exterminate anyone and everyone who’s more highly evolved.

Is it a stretch to say that they’re trying to kill us? Well, perhaps not intentionally, but stupidity can and does kill. A party that denies the clear evidence of global warming; that strips away the safety nets from the poor and elderly; that demands guns in bars, parks, trunks and schools; that insists being scared justifies mowing down minorities; and that obviously intends to keep doing the same reckless things in the Middle East, is going to get many Americans killed, and god-knows-how-many foreigners. Someone needs to stop the tiny-brained predators from wreaking so much havoc, so operating on the premise that the pen is mightier than empty noggins as well as the sword, I have tried to make other people aware of what I see so clearly myself.

The Republican Party has changed dramatically in recent years, in its hard shift to the far right, where grammar-challenged rubes like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann can become stars of the highest magnitudes. In my early working days, I was a Reagan Republican — perhaps a bit like the character Michael Fox played on Family Ties — because I was very concerned about the economy and my taxes. Like many young people intent on living out the American Dream, I wanted to have the finer things in life: nice cars, a nice house, etc. I preferred to enjoy the fruits of my labor, so it made sense for me to support fiscal responsibility on the part of the federal government. But the “trickle down” theory proved to be economic voodoo because rich people don’t have to spend most of the money they make. “Trickle up” might work much better because ordinary Joes and Janes will spend most of what they make, with the people who own businesses, stocks and bonds being the main beneficiaries.

But in any case, what I didn’t realize at the time, perhaps because it seemed so far-fetched, was that the spirit of the Confederacy was about to rise from the grave and reanimate. Thus, a vote for “fiscal responsibility” became a vote for chauvinism, racism, homophobia, intolerance and irrational religion (for instance, all the sins of heterosexual Christians can be forgiven freely by grace, but a homophobic God singles out gays and Muslims for “special consideration,” in the form of an eternal hell).

A vote for the GOP also became a vote for a return to feudalism, with a few rich layabout lords prospering from the incessant toil of their lowly serfs. As a result, today average Americans are working themselves into early graves while being told that the retirement plans and medical insurance they fund are “entitlements” the nation can’t afford, when trillions of dollars have been wasted on two wars fought on false premises. Meanwhile, super-wealthy businesses like Apple and individuals like Mitt Romney claim to “believe in America” while keeping most of their moolah stashed offshore. They obviously don’t “believe” in America enough to pay their fair share of the expenses of the wars being fought, at least ostensibly, to protect it.

This is not the American that I dreamed of, in my youthful idealism. I wanted the best of both worlds  — prosperity and equality — not the worst of both, which is where the GOP will undoubtedly take us if we don’t stand our ground. The Confederacy may have lost the last few battles of the Civil War, but its spirit lives and raves on today in the bigotry and intolerance of the Tea Party. Those of us who agree with the stand abolitionists took against the enslavement of African-Americans must now take a similar stand against our own enslavement, and the enslavement of our children and grandchildren.

Where do we go from here? I may not have the opportunity to write another column in these days of diminishing paper and ink, but I will definitely continue to write and publish online. And as the primary author of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative (www.thehypertexts.com/peace.htm), I will continue to seek a peaceful settlement to the conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, which could be the key to world peace.

I believe it is a fundamental truth that on this planet, peace requires justice, and justice requires equality. Three times in its history the United States has made terrible decisions to subvert justice and equality, which resulted in large-scale holocausts. One holocaust was the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Americans. Another was the enslavement of African-Americans. The third, in my opinion, is American support of the ethnic cleansing and slow genocide of Palestinians. In the first two cases, massacre after massacre resulted, with the oppressors insisting that their victims were the “problem.” But it turned out that Sitting Bull wasn’t really a “terrorist,” just a man forced to the warpath because his people lived on the brink of extermination. It turned out that John Brown wasn’t really a “terrorist,” but a man willing to risk his life to end the terrible treatment of African-Americans. And one day in the future, if the human race survives, I have no doubt that the more enlightened people who study the actual causes of 9-11 will shake their heads sadly and wonder how so many Americans of our era could have been so blind.

I wish everyone who reads this final article the best of luck, but sometimes we have to make our own luck in this world, so I hope you will join me in the continuing struggle to establish a lasting peace, which requires real justice, which in turn requires real equality, both at home and abroad. Unfortunately, the self-avowed “greatest nation of all time” has not always lived up to its stated ideals. But if we keep evolving, we just might escape the fate of those other dinosaurs who failed to evolve, and of course the dodos.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

350 Comments on this post:

By: gdiafante on 8/12/13 at 11:15

First, it's the dual citizenship. If that doesn't work, it's the birth certificate. Pathetic.

Yogi, the certificate is not fake. The entirety of your position is false. Nice try.

By: Loner on 8/12/13 at 11:30

Good afternoon, Nashville.

It appears that the NCP is not yet dead....it has not flat-lined, as we expected...it may be in some sort of cyber coma.

301 comments and we are on page 7....will they ever pull the plug on the online NCP product?

This truly is weird.....kind of like an afterlife, for a dead newspapers....who knew?

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 11:34

It looks like you're thinking like John McCain, bfra. So tell me, when did it become legal for a foreigner to be elected as our president simply with popular votes?

As a Tennessean (presuming you are), could you win the governorship in California if those idiots out there voted for you?

You have to be legally eligible to run in a race to legally win it even if you outrun every racer that left the starting line.

By: bfra on 8/12/13 at 11:41

Hey blob fool, why don't you respond to gdiafante? Because you can't do anything but respond with LIES so you pull your change the subject, dumb fool.

By: dargent7 on 8/12/13 at 11:43

Loner: I called it last Friday...a Twilight Zone episode....says it will, but it simply won't go away.

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 11:46

So tell me gdiafante, what birth certificate was Obama writing about in his autobiography before he said he couldn't get a copy of his Hawaiian birth certificate... before he got it?

How could the twins born the day after him so easily get a copy of their birth certificates if he couldn't? Did the Hawaiian government consider them specially privileged?

What presidents before him do you know of that was so secretive of themselves? I can go back to FDR and I can't think of one. They all wanted everyone to know who they were and what their qualifications were to become president of this country.

What did your man Barry present except his face?

By: gdiafante on 8/12/13 at 11:55

None of that diatribe is relevant, yogi. Here's what we know: (1) dual citizenship is not an issue (2) the birth certificate is legitimate.

If (1) doesn't apply and (2) isn't an issue, what basis do you have to support your allegations, other than you just don't like the guy?

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 12:19

It's simple gdiafante, I don't like the guy because I have no idea just who in the hell he is, and neither do you. I do not want a dictator for my grandchildren.

Tell me, as a Marine vet, what did you think of his refusal of wearing a flag pin before he was [nominated]? What did you think of his standing there with his hands clasped over his crotch when the National Anthem was being played? What did you think of his referring to not having been to two of the 57 states on his campaign? What did you think of his wife saying she finally "loved" the United States after he was [elected]?

And what do you think of the money he has spent (our money by the way) on flying all over the nation on campaign meetings? And what do you think of the millions of our dollars he's spending to take one vacation after another after it has been noted how broke our nation is.
Could it just be in his effort to break our nation financially, to place us into bankruptcy using marshal law to takeover as dictator?

Just curious gdiafante, are you in favor of a dictator?

By: gdiafante on 8/12/13 at 12:26

Yeah...and what does a flag pin have to do with eligibility? What does a debunked rumor about his crotch have to do with eligibility? What does a campaign semantics gaffe have to do with eligibility?

As far as the rest, perhaps you should research a little about how the President travels/vacations and that it's on our dime, always has been, always will be.

I'm not sure what marshal law is...if you mean martial law, that's been debunked too.

You, sir, have no argument.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/12/13 at 12:38

You are still and idiot and the son of idiots Comrade yogi.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/12/13 at 12:39

Tell the truth yogi, was your parents brother and sister?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/12/13 at 12:44


Marshal law is were yogi gets all of the marshmallows for himself. It matches his soft crappy brain.

By: gdiafante on 8/12/13 at 1:06

I have to admit, it's pretty fun pointing out just how completely wrong yogi really is.

By: brrrrk on 8/12/13 at 1:21

gdiafante said on 8/12/13 at 2:06

"I have to admit, it's pretty fun pointing out just how completely wrong yogi really is."

Like shootin' fish in a barrel.... or to be more colloquially accurate, like shootin' bass in a hog trough...

By: bfra on 8/12/13 at 2:04

yogi has been laughed at & ridiculed ever since he started plastering his LIES on the board everyday & normal people just don't buy into LIES. Pity, he just doesn't have enough sense to understand that sane people are not hood-winked by his repeated LIES.

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 2:56

That crotch sight is not a rumor gdiafante, I saw it happen. Regrettably I'm not as smart as you on a computer. If I was, I would have forwarded many things you probably wouldn't like to see showing your ignorance on him.

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 3:01

Sorry on my misspelling of martial law, gdiafante. It's hard trying to do two things at the same time.

But don't worry, I'll give you many more laughs.

By: bfra on 8/12/13 at 3:03

Brainless blob - Sure, you see things nobody else sees! You hear & read things nobody else can find! You are so dumb, how do you get out of bed in the morning or do you just roll out of the hog trough?

By: bfra on 8/12/13 at 3:08

gdiafante - We have been under martial law threat ever since the yogi fool started posting on this board. Not from Obama, of course, but from the resident board troll. Oh and a threat of it isn't going to be the USA anymore. Chicken Little is still waiting for the sky to fall! Eh? yogi?

By: brrrrk on 8/12/13 at 3:22

Remind me.... was there ever a time when the Conservatives were on the right side of anything.... even going back as far as the revolution... it was the torries (the monied conservatives of the day) who were against independence.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/12/13 at 3:42

At 4:01 yogi must of had a brain fart, he actually posted the truth.

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 3:49

If you didn't see it, or hear it, it doesn't exist; eh, bfra. Go back to a little reading (that is if you can read) and you'll find many points I've made and gave references to them. But, what the heck, they didn't exist, did they?

I don't know if you're sleeping on the floor because you're afraid you'll fall out of bed and hurt your head, or just roll out of bed until one of your feet hit the floor.

Me? I just sit up in bed, turn around and let my feet go to the floor and stand up on my own two feet.

Just wondering: Would Barry like to have some hog jowl? I'd be glad to send him some.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/12/13 at 3:57

If yogi spreads it you can it is crap.

So your parents are also brother and sister. That explains why you are an imbecile.

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 4:08

Tell me Obama fans, what did you all think when the nomination affidavit Nancy Pelosi sent to the Hawaiian Secretary of State was different from the one she sent to the other 49 State's Secretary of State? Or was that 56 other State's Secretary of State?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/12/13 at 6:42

I think you are a traitor, old fool

By: yogiman on 8/12/13 at 7:18

To be honest with you dumga$$, I don't give a damn what you think. I just consider it coming from that pod called your brain and consider it a fart in the wind.

By: Mike Burch on 8/13/13 at 2:28


There is an obvious difference between unwittingly buying an electric razor manufactured by a Chinese sweatshop, and touring the sweatshop, seeing the barbed wire and guard towers, then investing millions of dollars in it. The latter is what Bishop Romney did. Why? Obviously, as one of the primary exporters of American jobs to China, he realized that China was going to make a lot of money, so he decided to "double dip."

People with brains can figure such things out, by examining the public evidence and thinking for a minute or two. While it's true that ignorance is no excuse, what Romney did is worse because he not only knew what he was doing, but he could easily have afforded to invest his money elsewhere and report the plight of thousands of Chinese girls condemned to near-slave-labor to the authorities. The guy is a creep, and the GOP is a creepy party for nearly electing him.

By: budlight on 8/13/13 at 4:02

Mike, almost everything we touch in a store is made in China or made in some other country like India, Pakistan or some other country with no laws against SWEAT shops (Mexico, etc). So how is it that Romney is so bad and the rest of you people who are gobbling up Chinese made products are saintly?

Romney knew about the Obamacare type of insurance because he tried it in Massachusetts and it FAILED. Or did it succeed because it failed?

Do you know anyone who is investing in GE? I know a democrat who thinks the whole GE thing sucks, but the stock is doing well, so he is still investing in it, he said. Talk about a double standard.

If people don't care that Obama attended a Black church with a minister that hates whites, why would they care about Romney.

By: Libertine on 8/13/13 at 4:42

By: Mike Burch on 8/13/13 at 3:28


There is an obvious difference between unwittingly buying an electric razor manufactured by a Chinese sweatshop, and touring the sweatshop, seeing the barbed wire and guard towers, then investing millions of dollars in it. The latter is what Bishop Romney did. Why? Obviously, as one of the primary exporters of American jobs to China, he realized that China was going to make a lot of money, so he decided to "double dip."

People with brains can figure such things out, by examining the public evidence and thinking for a minute or two. While it's true that ignorance is no excuse, what Romney did is worse because he not only knew what he was doing, but he could easily have afforded to invest his money elsewhere and report the plight of thousands of Chinese girls condemned to near-slave-labor to the authorities. The guy is a creep, and the GOP is a creepy party for nearly electing him."


Enough of the partisan rhetoric and dogma. Let's stick to facts. I didn't say anything about a cheap Chinese made razor. I specifically mentioned Apple, whose labor practices in China have been in the news for years. Liberals know the facts about Apple, but don't care because Apple products are cool, Steve Jobs is cool, and creative people use Macbooks.


"Obviously, as one of the primary exporters of American jobs to China"

That is a whooper Mike. What is your basis for claiming that Romney is 'one of the primary exporters' of American jobs? How many jobs did Romney create in the US, how many did he move to China? How many employees did Romney have in China compared to the number making Apple products? How many jobs in America did Barack Obama create as a community organizer or part time lecturer?

With President Obama at the helm, towing the party line on taxes, raising the cost of health to employers, and increasing energy costs there are fewer jobs in the US today than five years ago, even though we have five million more workers. That's what happens who you have someone totally clueless making economic policy decisions.

By: gdiafante on 8/13/13 at 5:21

It seems that while Libertine expounds on the merits of abandoning partisanship in this argument, he can't help but end up there anyway. Such is the political climate. However, it would be unfair to point the finger at a particular side when you speak of cheap labor. If you have a pulse and are running a major corporation, you're going to consider your options, which likely includes cheap labor. It has nothing to do with what letter is beside your name, it has to do with the bottom line, which is profit.

In other words, if you can lower your costs by outsourcing or opening a manufacturing plant in Asia, why wouldn't you? Because of politial loyalty or some patriotic sense? The power of profit trumps all. And no one should really complain about this, it's the system we want.

But, much like the U.S., one day those workers who are being exploited will fight back and their conditions will improve and corporate America will find some other way to cut costs and increase profit. They always do.

Now as far as trying to blame one person for our country's ills...perhaps you don't understand the system, perhaps you don't understand the problems, perhaps you're just grinding that political ax that you were so closely trying to avoid.

By: yogiman on 8/13/13 at 5:30


Considering both parties, except for your man Barry (and maybe Nancy Pelosi and Hary Reid), can you name one politician you feel trustworthy to our nation?

And speaking of jobs in China Mike, who was president of the USA when the jobs began moving to China?

By: Loner on 8/13/13 at 5:41

Good morning, Nashville.

The zombie paper staggers on....seven pages and counting....how long can this go on?

By: gdiafante on 8/13/13 at 6:17

And speaking of jobs in China Mike, who was president of the USA when the jobs began moving to China?

It's not really about China, it's about outsourcing in general. In that context, the short answer would be Reagan. The long answer is more complicated. Outsourcing really got going in the 1980's. The most obvious example is GM moving plants to Mexico.

NAFTA in the 90's took outsourcing to a new level, but the current problem we're having with Asia and India are because of those countries in the late 90's opening their economies to the world, ultimately with China joining the WTO.

It's not as simple as blaming one President.

By: yogiman on 8/13/13 at 6:58

Like your time in service Loner; until it ends.

A couple of good shows for you, gdiafante:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_wQw1ugzw/ and

By: Captain Nemo on 8/13/13 at 10:26

I don't care what you think Comrade yogi, you are a traitor to the American way of life.

By: yogiman on 8/13/13 at 11:03

Interesting if you're interested how long the insurance company thinks you will live. I must say; I hope it ain't too long for a person with your mental discrepancy, dumba$$.


By: Captain Nemo on 8/13/13 at 11:36

You are still stupid Comrade yogi.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/13/13 at 11:38

If that were true Comrade yogi, you would have died a birth.

By: Loner on 8/13/13 at 11:39

A full litterbox....and nobody around to dump it and put out a fresh one....this is going to get really filthy.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/13/13 at 12:15

Hay Loner! :-)

By: yogiman on 8/13/13 at 12:21

It's been filthy for years, Loner. What makes you think it would improve unless I checked out the door... which I won't until the game is over.?

By: gdiafante on 8/13/13 at 1:03

Well, at least he admits his own filth.

By: bfra on 8/13/13 at 1:13

gdiafante = Like everybody didn't already know his filth.

By: Loner on 8/13/13 at 1:30

Any semblance of civility has vanished here....no fear of being "banned"....no webmaster on patrol....the offices of the NCP are now vacant....no more NCP payroll....one wonders, who is paying to keep this online site alive? How long will this go on?

The NCP is a Zombie!

By: Loner on 8/13/13 at 1:39

Shall we discuss some current events?

Israel and Palestine?

The US-brokered talks are about to begin...Israel used the old one-two punch....they released a few Palestinian prisoners, as a confidence-building gesture.

Then, almost simultaneously, the Israeli government announced that another 1200 Jews Only apartments were approved for construction in E J'lem and the WB....then a day or so later, they announced that another 900 units were also approved for Jews Only housing in the Occupied Territories.

One confidence-building measure followed by two confidence-destroying moves....more Zionist games.....more taunting and more goading of the oppressed and stateless Arabs living in the OT......and Uncle Sam is picking up the tab.... in more ways than one.

Holy Wars Suck.

By: Loner on 8/13/13 at 1:53

IMO, the US has lost any credibility as an honest broker in the lingering dispute between these two hateful Semitic peoples.

The US Congress is on the take to the Israel lobby, as are both major US political parties.

Dual citizenship, (US-Israel), tycoons, like Sheldon Adelson will eventually purchase the POTUS...and the major US media will continue enable it all.

The only people who are being fooled by these theatrics is the US general public....the taxpayers...the folks footing the bill and paying the consequences of the "Special Relationship"....the slow learners.

By: Loner on 8/13/13 at 2:42

Let me re-phrase that, "two hateful Semitic peoples" is not what I meant to write , "two hate-filled Semitic peoples" is what I had intended to write....that auto-correct feature can both benefit and bedevil the online poster.....sorry about that.

Is anyone in the room?

By: yogiman on 8/13/13 at 3:30

Yeah Loner,

Sadly I'm still in the room. And I had to post (say) this, but my "filth" was caused by my trying to educate you people who are so supportive of a man whom you have no idea just who in the hell he is. You might think you do, but how can you when he has refused to identify himself.

I'm afraid you're going to learn the hard way. I don't really feel sorry for you all, but I do feel sorry for you heirs down the line.

No one has explained why he would not identify himself until he showed a fake birth certificate in 2012.

And yeah gdiafante, it is a fake. You should be able to know that just by looking at it. Or maybe you can explain why it took so many sheets of data to make one copy. Explain why the words are made of letters of different sizes and in different positions on a line instead of being even.

Look at your birth certificate. Is it as screwed up as Barry's? And why did an employee make a statement his birth certificate was written in pen and pencil?

And I'm sure you can explain why he has spent almost two million dollars (the last I heard) hiding his identity.

What do you all think about the possibility of him giving citizenship to 11 million illegal aliens by executive order if his amnesty bill isn't passed?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/13/13 at 3:41

Sadly Comrade yogi is still a moron traitor, that admits to being filthy.

By: Libertine on 8/13/13 at 6:16

I've spent a lot of time in China, gd.

Low labor costs were just part of the draw to China. But most manufactured goods in the US have less than 10% in direct labor costs. An even bigger draw was taxes. China gave US manufacturers a 7 year tax abatement to build facilities there. That is why US companies have so much cash stuck there. They earned it a no or low tax Chinese tax rates and will lose 35% off the top in they bring it home to invest in the US.

The labor cost advantage is practically gone today in will be completely gone in a few years.


We have the chance to move much of the manufacturing of US goods back to the US, but President Obama and Congressional Democrats have been doing everything they could to prevent it. Obamacare increases the cost of providing health care benefits to employees and that pushes those jobs to India and Mexico. The ridiculously high US corporate income tax rates prevent US businesses from bringing cash home and pushes investment and jobs to other countries. Luckily Republicans thwarted Obama's carbon tax scheme, but Obama is pushing it in through the backdoor using the EPA to declare CO2 as air pollution. That is a ridiculous claim and increases energy costs in the US which pushes jobs elsewhere.

Those are my points, do you have any gd facts, or just rhetoric and personal insults?